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Israel's 400-acre avocado farm to offer 1,000 jobs

 400-acre Granot International farm in Ndabibi, Naivasha. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

An Israeli investor has opened one of the largest avocado farms in Naivasha, which is expected to hugely impact the farming of the popular fruit in the area.

The 400-acre Granot International farm in Ndabibi is expected to employ 1,000 workers, with this number projected to triple over the next few years.

The move coincides with a commitment by the Israeli government to partner with the country in expanding the acreage dedicated to avocado production by introducing advanced farming technology.

This announcement was made on Wednesday during the official opening of the farm as part of the Evergreen Avocado project.

Giyora Merom, the CEO of the farm, said they had 70 years of experience in avocado cultivation. He described the cost of avocado production in Kenya as cheap compared to competitors in Peru, Chile and Spain.

He said that the global issue of rising production costs was due to climate change and escalating fuel prices.

"We have invested millions of dollars in this project which we expect to offer employment opportunities and create a new market,” Giyora said.

The CEO said the farm has over 300,000 seedlings, and that they will provide farmers with technological support to boost yields in response to the high global demand for the fruit.

He added that the major challenge they were facing is a poor road network that hampers access to the farm.

Israel Ambassador Michael Lotem said the farm is one of several agriculture projects supported by his government. He added that it would employ over 1,000 workers with the number expected to reach 4,000.

“We have worked with many farmers in the country by introducing them to the latest agricultural technologies increase production,” he said.

Nakuru Agriculture Executive Leonard Bor said the county was keen to increase acreage under avocado. He thanked the Israelis for their support and pledged to continue assisting farmers through provision of certified seedlings and good working conditions.

“The land in Nakuru is conducive for avocado growing and we shall continue encouraging more investors so that we can increase production and offer more job opportunities,” he said.

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